Work out your car budget
Buying a car is often the second biggest purchase people make after their home.
Your budget will determine whether you can buy new or used and how much you can afford in running costs.
It's crucial that you are realistic about your budget. Over–extending yourself can lead to problems down the line — particularly if you have little or no savings.
Use our simple Budget planner to work out how much you can afford to spend buying a car. It takes just a few minutes.
Remember to include running costs
Once you've worked out how much you can afford to spend buying your car, make sure that you can also afford to run it. It's worth bearing in mind that UK motorists spend an average of £3,500 a year on running costs. (Source: survey by Webuyanycar.com, November 2013.)
For help working out a car's running costs, try our Car costs calculator tool.
Top 10 questions to ask yourself
Now that you've made sure you can afford a car, it's time to find out what you can buy within your budget.
Don't overlook any of your essentials when choosing your car:
- Do I need to keep running costs such as tax, insurance and fuel to a minimum?
- Do I want a car that will hold its value well?
- How much space do I need for passengers, including perhaps a dog?
- Would I like to buy one of the most reliable cars?
- Will I normally be driving short distances or longer journeys?
- Do I want my car to be environmentally-friendly and economical?
- Do I want one of the safest cars on the road?
- Do I need to be sure the car will fit in my garage?
- What length of warranty am I looking for?
- Does my car need to be able to tow a caravan?